Car rental giant Hertz is in the process of purchasing Dollar Thrifty. The deal is said to be for $2.3 billion, according to an Associated Press report. As a result, Dollar Thrifty stock increased by seven percent in trading before the market opened today.
In 2004, Raechel and Jackie Houck were killed when they were in a fiery accident in the 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser they had rented from Enterprise. The girls' mother, Cally Houck, sued Enterprise when it was discovered that their Chrysler was the subject of a recall to repair a power steering hose leak over a potential fire issue, yet the car hadn't been reparied before it was rented. The five-year trial concluded in 2010, with Enterprise admitting negligence, at which point it was ordered by a ju
I once rented a 2001 Mustang Convertible from Hertz in Nebraska. When placing the rental paperwork in the glove box I found a crisp $5 bill, which I promptly exchanged for a Big Mac and fries. That was lucky, but the following story is not.
Hertz and Avis have been fighting to get their hands on Dollar-Thrifty for over a year now, with the latest volley coming from the Hertz camp. According to Bloomberg, the world's largest airport rental car company has offered $72 per share for Dollar-Thrifty, or 24 percent more than a recent offer from Avis. The offer consists of of $57.60 in cash and .8546 Hertz shares per share of Dollar-Thrifty.
It's never a good idea to return a rental car with less than a full tank of gas. The reason? The rental car companies usually charge a fee if you don't fill up before dropping off. And according to a report in USA Today, that fee has, in some cases, gotten a lot steeper.
Economists and talking heads argue endlessly about our economy on a daily basis. "It's back!," "It's almost back!" and "It's never coming back!" seem to be the leaders among the varied viewpoints we hear and read about. One sector that has apparently begun to rebound is the car rental business. Not necessarily in financial terms, but from the standpoint of customer satisfaction, America's rental car companies are returning to to a position last seen in the pre-recession days.
Last summer, it was the Detroit Three that were restraining themselves from dumping cars into the gaping maw of fleet sales just to boost the bottom line. Turns out they had some help with that discipline: Due to last year's events, rental car fleets shrunk by 400,000 units from 2007 to 2008. As we begin 2009, rental car companies have declared they will be trimming their fleet orders and curbing the number of vehicles they keep on hand even further.
I suppose the best thing that Thrifty Car Rental's new "Hourly Rentals" deal has going for it is that it sort of bridges the divide between flat-out renting a car for the day and belonging to a carsharing service. Thrifty's new service, which started yesterday at two Manhattan Locations, isn't as cheap per hour as most carshares, but you don't need to pay a membership fee. And, um, the cars aren't parked in neighborhoods but at two Thrifty Car Rental locations. Also, hours are limited (cars are